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AEW is expected to announce a TV deal with Turner next week, first reported by The Wrap. The deal is expected to be announced at Turner parent company WarnerMedia’s upfront event next Wednesday. Turner is expected to air weekly AEW episodes on TNT beginning in the fall, with Tuesday nights being a likely but not confirmed time slot.
AEW is the upstart company running it’s first official event “Double of Nothing” Memorial Day weekend on May 25 in Las Vegas, Nev. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event will air on PPV and streaming services internationally including ITV in the UK. Top AEW names include Kenny Omega, Cody, The Young Bucks, Chris Jericho, Pac (a/k/a Neville), “Hangman” Adam Page, and Jim Ross. Cody, The Bucks, and Omega are executive vice presidents. Tony Khan, the son of owner Shahid Khan, is the leader of the promotion.
AEW is by far the most well funded and ambitious start-up company to create competition for WWE since WCW went out of business 18 years ago when its assets were acquired by WWE. WCW was owned by Turner, which is now reportedly the U.S. TV landing place for AEW. AEW will attempt to provide a legitimate alternative version of pro wrestling to the style WWE has promoted, and has the funding to compete for at least a handful of pro wrestling’s top star contracts to appear on relatively equal footing with WWE in terms of star power and production values.
Radican’s Analysis: This news isn’t a shocker to me. I had been told the deal wasn’t done recently. The article from The Wrap stated the deal was “virtually done.” The article also referenced that negotiations had been complex between both parties, which put the upfront announcement in jeopardy. It had been reported previously by The Wrap that AEW might be a time buy on Turner. This article didn’t mention that and only stated that financial terms of the deal likely won’t be disclosed since AEW is not a publicly traded company. When PWTorch reached out to sources about AEW being a time buy, sources strongly denied that was the case. The next news to break is what streaming component there might be to AEW’s TV deal.
If you had to choose to between watching only #AEW on TNT (with all the unknowns) or #WWE on USA/Fox starting next October, and had to watch one and not the other for a full year, what brand would you commit to today?
— Pro Wrestling Torch (@PWTorch) May 9, 2019